Shaun the Sheep kicks off Artemis I post-flight tour

ESA invites you to celebrate Shaun the Sheep’s return from the Artemis I lunar mission as he herds off on his post-flight tour.

ESA’s Director of Human and Robotic Exploration David Parker will formally congratulate Shaun before he visits space centres across Europe.

Woolly astronaut Shaun the Sheep flew on the Artemis I mission, the first flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft with an ESA European Service Module, around the Moon and back.

Orion and its European Service Module were launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on 16 November 2022. The spacecraft, with astronaut Shaun the Sheep on board, performed a flyby of the Moon, using lunar gravity to gain speed and propel itself 70 000 km beyond the Moon, almost half a million kilometres from Earth - farther than any human, or sheep, has ever travelled.

Shaun returned safely when the Orion crew capsule separated from its European Service Module, reentered Earth’s atmosphere and successfully splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on 11 December.

In preparation for this flight, Shaun participated in an intensive programme of astronaut training. This training was documented and presented in a series of ESA blog posts leading up to the launch.

ESA now invites you to celebrate Shaun the Sheep’s return from his mission:

Date: Wednesday 29 March 2023
Time: 12:00-13:15 BST / 13:00-14:15 CEST
Location: Aardman Animations, 1 Gas Ferry Road, Bristol, BS1 6UN

Media opportunities include:

  • Filming with astronaut Shaun
  • An interview with ESA’s Director of Human and Robotic Exploration David Parker
  • A new piece of Aardman history will be revealed along with the chance to interview Aardman’s co-founder Peter Lord.

Media registration:

To attend, please RSVP to Anna Lewis on

Refreshments will be provided.

About Shaun the Sheep

Shaun the Sheep, Aardman’s family favourite TV series, is recognised the world over for its slapstick humour, distinctive look and strong, quirky characters and enjoyed across multiple media platforms. First appearing in Nick Park’s 1995 Academy Award winning Wallace & Gromit ’A Close Shave’, Shaun then went on to star in his own series, created by Richard Starzak which launched on BBC One in 2007. Shaun the Sheep is currently broadcast in 170 territories around the world and is an internationally celebrated icon with over 5.6 million fans on Facebook. In 2015 the first Shaun the Sheep Movie with feature film partner Studiocanal was released around the world to critical acclaim and the first half hour TV special aired as part of many broadcaster’s festive season. The feature film sequel Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon was released in October 2019 and nominated for an Academy Award and was closely followed by a sixth season of the series in 2020. A new festive special Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas was released in December 2021.